Who Can You Trust?

  • by April 20, 2001
Who Can You Trust?

The seventh annual Middleberg/Ross survey of media in the wired world reports that use of the Internet by news reporters and editors is at an all time high, according to a recent report in Adweek.

But, the report finds that "[Journalists] repeat rumors that originate online, (and) are increasingly willing to use e-mail for interviewing. And (they) are unwilling to expand their readers' understanding by linking to other sites, even when the sites are not competitors," according to Steve Ross, an associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The survey found that nearly all journalists interviewed went online daily to check for e-mail. The study also found that journalists spent 15 hours a week sending and receiving e-mail. But the study also concluded that reporters and editors are not adequately trained in Net usage, and that this lack of instruction, plus the competitive nature of journalism, can lead to trouble.

- 70% of journalists say they or their colleagues engage in dialogue with readers through e-mail and discussion groups.

- 92% said they go online for article research in 2000, up from only 66% in 1995

- 98% reported they used e-mail in 2000, from only 59% in 1995

- 47% said they would consider reporting or spreading a story that started on the Net if confirmed by an independent source.

Source: The Seventh Annual Middleberg/Ross Survey of Media in the Wired World

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